Chicago Tribune managing editor Christine Taylor resigns

Christine Taylor

Passed over last month for the top editor’s job, the highest ranking woman in the Chicago Tribune newsroom resigned Wednesday.

Christine Taylor, who has overseen daily news coverage as managing editor since 2018, will leave the Tribune October 8.

No successor has been named, but executive editor Mitch Pugh said he will “continue to evaluate the biggest needs we have as a news organization and hope to make some decisions in the coming weeks on how we will fill Chrissy’s formidable shoes.”

Taylor did not respond to a request for comment, but in a statement to the Tribune she said: “I am incredibly grateful for the many opportunities I’ve had during my tenure to learn and grow from the amazing people in this company in Chicago, Hartford and the other Tribune Publishing markets. While this was a difficult decision for me to leave, I am very excited for what comes next.”

Tribune insiders said Taylor was thought to be in line to replace Colin McMahon after he resigned as editor-in-chief. But under the new ownership of New York-based hedge fund Alden Global Capital, the company hired Pugh, who most recently was executive editor of the Post and Courier in Charleston, South Carolina.

Under former editor-in-chief Bruce Dold, Taylor joined the Tribune as managing editor from the Hartford Courant, where she was vice president of digital publishing. A native of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, she holds degrees from the University of Michigan and the University of Colorado Boulder.

In 2019 Taylor ranked eighth on this column’s list of the most powerful women in Chicago journalism.

Here is the text of Pugh’s email to staff:

All,

I’m sad to report that Managing Editor Chrissy Taylor has decided to leave the Chicago Tribune. Her last day will be Oct. 8.

I’ve only known Chrissy a few weeks. Yet, I can unequivocally say she is among the most fearless, driven and talented journalists I’ve had the pleasure to meet. The work she has done since coming to Chicago in 2018 to transform this newsroom is remarkable.

She has crafted an audience strategy that has helped fuel explosive digital subscription growth and deeper engagement. Her insight has helped inform a rethinking of roles and responsibilities across the organization. She has guided work that has reshaped the way we tell stories, recognizing we need to meet readers where they are with products and journalism that match their needs. In fact, best practices from Chrissy’s work in Chicago have been shared widely within our industry, becoming a model for newsrooms around the country.

Whether here or her previous role in Hartford, she’s also helped lead authoritative news coverage, from the tragic shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School to an earth-shattering presidential election to a life-altering, worldwide pandemic. Journalism is in her blood, and I know moving on from this company after 17 years of service was a difficult decision. She will soon be able to share what she’s doing next. When she does, it will be clear why this was the right move for her. Better yet, we will be able to continue to learn from her as she stays close to the news.

So please join me on this bittersweet day in celebrating the great work Chrissy has done at the Tribune and wishing her the best on her new adventure.

Next steps for us: I will continue to evaluate the biggest needs we have as a news organization and hope to make some decisions in the coming weeks on how we will fill Chrissy’s formidable shoes. In the meantime, I welcome feedback from the team.

Thank you.
 
Mitch Pugh
Executive Editor-Chicago Tribune